Thursday, January 14, 2010

Honoring Truth


"I can be changed by what happens to me, but I refuse to be reduced by it." Maya Angelou

When I first saw her....I was drawn to the softness in her face....and to her smile. There was a warmth, a kindness, a gentleness about her. She had been admitted to the hospital after falling and breaking a hip. I knew she was from Poland. I asked if she had been through the war. 


Putting her head down, she let the tears fall and began to tell me the horrors she had lived. As I listened....I struggled to stay present. I found myself wanting to close my eyes and go away. She talked quickly, wanting to get it all out....she knew dates, places, times, names.....She wanted to be accurate...she wanted to say the truth. 

I asked her how she managed to live all those years with what had happened to her....She shook her head and cried unashamedly. I don't know. I think God let me live to tell....

I went home that night....detached...like I used to be....feeling separate from myself...that 84 year old woman's words echoing in my mind...I think God let me live to tell.....

When I got home...my friend called....two people her husband works with bought the book. Two other people ordered it online. And a bookstore in the city next to where I live asked me to bring some books to place on their shelves. 

Writing this...I feel sad...I don't know why. Maybe sad for that woman...that  survivor who knew at 84 God let her live to tell her story....Maybe because in some way that lady gave me a message today...a message to be strong...a message to tell the truth of what happened...to not be afraid....It wasn't my fault...and what happened doesn't define who I am today. 

And maybe by telling my truth....I can show there is a way out of darkness...a way out of hopelessness. I think of friends who died...who took their own lives or died by accident because of the damage they had done to their bodies...and I think of the many times I tempted death......Yet He let me live - Maybe He let me live to tell. 

There is still a part of me that thinks what happened defines who I am....In my head I know that's not true...but somewhere inside me....it doesn't feel like that's completely true.

I want to be strong...and give that strength to others. I want to use what happened and give hope. And I want to show the gentleness of His power is able to break through any darkness.






22 comments:

Rhonda said...

You are strong sweety! You prove that each and every day by writing your thoughts down and sharing it with all of us!

I believe that God uses what has happened to us to help shape us. Somehow, some way, we grow into better people through our pain. At least, that's what everyone keeps telling me. I am still trying to understand why we are put through such pain in the first place.

Keep writing! Your inspire me and touch my heart in so many ways. That will help you break through any darkness.

RCUBEs said...

God uses us for His works...the question is...are we willing to follow and obey? Sounds like you are doing what He willed for you. God bless and protect you sister.

That video I shared in my site about the "shakedown", when I became a part of it, I was hidden actually from inmates. I was there to identify if deputies find any drugs they are not familiar with. I still need prayers and I just want to thank you for yours that's why I brought it up. Keeping you in mine :)

Donetta said...

I so agree, How proud of you is the father. One day if my courage does not falter I too will tell of the events in book form as It is I do not so easily obey to do it. It is a task that well It is a great task.
Well done

Shattered said...

"God let me live to tell..."

Those are haunting words. Telling the real truth is so very powerful isn't it? And you are doing that... you should be very proud.

Prayer Girl said...

You remind me of the following words my parish priest gave me.

They apply when I ask myself why God let me find sobriety and live and about the things that have happened since then.

1. It's not about me
2. God has His purposes (they are pretty much none of my business
3. Don't limit God

I remain willing to do His will. I can hear that you do too.

PG

Being Me said...

God uses each of us to help build strength in others. Your story shows we can emerge stronger if we work at it by ourselves and with God.

BM

Colleen said...

What happened to you is not you. You are a beloved daughter of the Father. And nothing can ever change that.

Grace said...

and through your words you do touch others. you do help other survivors - at least you do me

Finally Free said...

Sarah,
That is a powerful story.....I'm still praying to understand suffering, but what I do know is how far God has brought me and that he hasn't wasted any of my suffering.

He gives me the chance several times a week to offer hope to hurting women. I see them break free and it is the best job in the world.

It is so great to hear of how God is using your book and your writing to help others.


Blessings,
Tammy

Denise said...

Sweetie, you are greatly used by God. You are very strong.

Just Be Real said...

Dear one you know how much of an inspiration you are to me! God has given you such a voice to share! Thank you! Blessings and hugs!

Audrinna said...

Just letting you know I might be free soon

Terri Tiffany said...

Everything we go through shapes and makes us into the person we are today. It's what we do with ourselves that make the difference! You are doing!!

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

It does not define you, Sarah, just as my tragedy does not define me. Maya speaks the truth--you cannot change what happened but it cannot reduce you. Strength doesn't come from a life of ease. It comes from endurance, perseverance, and faith. You have all three of these qualities.

Journal of Healing said...

YES! The gentleness of His power CAN break through any darkness. Great stuff.

Susan Deborah said...

"I want to be strong...and give that strength to others. I want to use what happened and give hope."

You are doing that by writing this post dear Sarah.

Joy always,
Susan

Paula said...

Hmm, I am defined by my past and because of my past I am what I am. I am stronger than I ever thought I could be, I am more determinated as mayn others without my childhood experiences, I am caring on y more healthy way for myself and others, a way I maybe wouldnt know without my past. There is more I could list, just a few examples. I am proud of who I am today, which I become out of my past. It is ok as such. Love you exactly as you are. Paula xx

kristilea said...

I too, had a dark past to work through and figure out how to move on. It wasn't until we moved to a new state that I really felt like my past didn't define me anymore. God tells us,

"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." 2 Corinthians 5:17

I cling to that verse!

I shared part of my testimony on the blog that I am a guest poster on. It only skims the surface, but you can read it here if you would like. http://bibleinayearandbeyond.blogspot.com/2010/01/kristis-testimony.html
God is so good to us and can use anything good or bad for His honor and glory!

Lisa Marie said...

You can still give strength to others without being the strongest you think you can be. Part of strength comes with understanding, the other with faith. No one can ever be as strong as they would like because no one can ever understand the "Why's" of life. You are more strong than you give yourself credit for!

Lisa Wood said...

There is something wonderful for you on my blog so when you have a second come over and check it out would ya?

Deb said...

The One who designed us defines us.

Thank you for having the courage to tell your story.

Because you touch my heart everytime you share.

Sweet dreams.

Lisa Wood said...

Sarah it is absolutely terrific no matter where you want to put it! I just love this particular blog of yours so much I just wanted to let you know here. Your sharing means the world to me and I value it a lot! Have you put the award up yet because I can't seem to find it on any of your sites??? Sweet sleep!